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Seizure initiation in infantile spasms vs. focal seizures: proposed common cellular mechanisms.

08:00 EDT 14th September 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Seizure initiation in infantile spasms vs. focal seizures: proposed common cellular mechanisms."

Infantile spasms (IS) and seizures with focal onset have different clinical expressions, even when electroencephalography (EEG) associated with IS has some degree of focality. Oddly, identical pathology (with, however, age-dependent expression) can lead to IS in one patient vs. focal seizures in another or even in the same, albeit older, patient. We therefore investigated whether the cellular mechanisms underlying seizure initiation are similar in the two instances: spasms vs. focal. We noted that in-common EEG features can include (i) a background of waves at alpha to delta frequencies; (ii) a period of flattening, lasting about a second or more - the electrodecrement (ED); and (iii) often an interval of very fast oscillations (VFO; ~70 Hz or faster) preceding, or at the beginning of, the ED. With IS, VFO temporally coincides with the motor spasm. What is different between the two conditions is this: with IS, the ED reverts to recurring slow waves, as occurring before the ED, whereas with focal seizures the ED instead evolves into an electrographic seizure, containing high-amplitude synchronized bursts, having superimposed VFO. We used in vitro data to help understand these patterns, as such data suggest cellular mechanisms for delta waves, for VFO, for seizure-related burst complexes containing VFO, and, more recently, for the ED. We propose a unifying mechanistic hypothesis - emphasizing the importance of brain pH - to explain the commonalities and differences of EEG signals in IS versus focal seizures.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Reviews in the neurosciences
ISSN: 0334-1763
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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

An epileptic syndrome characterized by the triad of infantile spasms, hypsarrhythmia, and arrest of psychomotor development at seizure onset. The majority present between 3-12 months of age, with spasms consisting of combinations of brief flexor or extensor movements of the head, trunk, and limbs. The condition is divided into two forms: cryptogenic (idiopathic) and symptomatic (secondary to a known disease process such as intrauterine infections; nervous system abnormalities; BRAIN DISEASES, METABOLIC, INBORN; prematurity; perinatal asphyxia; TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS; etc.). (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, pp744-8)

Conditions characterized by recurrent paroxysmal neuronal discharges which arise from a focal region of the brain. Partial seizures are divided into simple and complex, depending on whether consciousness is unaltered (simple partial seizure) or disturbed (complex partial seizure). Both types may feature a wide variety of motor, sensory, and autonomic symptoms. Partial seizures may be classified by associated clinical features or anatomic location of the seizure focus. A secondary generalized seizure refers to a partial seizure that spreads to involve the brain diffusely. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp317)

Seizures that occur during a febrile episode. It is a common condition, affecting 2-5% of children aged 3 months to five years. An autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance has been identified in some families. The majority are simple febrile seizures (generally defined as generalized onset, single seizures with a duration of less than 30 minutes). Complex febrile seizures are characterized by focal onset, duration greater than 30 minutes, and/or more than one seizure in a 24 hour period. The likelihood of developing epilepsy (i.e., a nonfebrile seizure disorder) following simple febrile seizures is low. Complex febrile seizures are associated with a moderately increased incidence of epilepsy. (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p784)

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A syndrome characterized by multiple abnormalities, MENTAL RETARDATION, and movement disorders. Present usually are skull and other abnormalities, frequent infantile spasms (SPASMS, INFANTILE); easily provoked and prolonged paroxysms of laughter (hence "happy"); jerky puppetlike movements (hence "puppet"); continuous tongue protrusion; motor retardation; ATAXIA; MUSCLE HYPOTONIA; and a peculiar facies. It is associated with maternal deletions of chromosome 15q11-13 and other genetic abnormalities. (From Am J Med Genet 1998 Dec 4;80(4):385-90; Hum Mol Genet 1999 Jan;8(1):129-35)

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